Wednesday, 22 February 2017

When you can’t see the view for the trees

I need to start by saying I’m a paid-up member of the Woodland Trust. Many years ago, I placed myself in front of a large oak tree being menaced (both of us) by a big bloke with a chainsaw. Can’t believe I did, but it’s true. And we stopped it getting chopped down without permission.

I’ve planted sensible British trees in my various gardens over the years and I can tell a whitebeam from a hornbeam. A tree fan, I am. With a surname like Kelt, its not surprising.

But I had a bit of shock the other day. You may have gathered from previous posts that we used to live in Bath. One of favourite walks, especially after a broiling day at the old Chronicle offices in Westgate Street, was Primrose Hill. 

Wed drive up Lansdown Road, and before you get to the Hare and Hounds,  turn left and down a short road, over a style and then we were in open fields. Our dog Amber loved sproinging over the tussocky grass, as we followed behind in a cloud of butterflies. Down below, the city of Bath was laid out in its golden glory. 
 
Getting a breath of cool air and looking down on the busy streets was a great way to get some perspective on a busy day.

Imagine our surprise when we found the whole area covered in trees. Quite tall, well-established trees.
Very few views to be had. There was much birdlife, of course, and evidence of a wonderful community project. Bees in summer, hopefully.

It was rather muddy, so we’ll go back on a spring day and dutifully applaud the careful work.

Times change. Cities change. And I know the planet needs more trees, I really do.

But I have to ask ... Did the whole area have to be planted up? Why are so many  trees in rows and not in natural clumps? And why didn’t someone leave a little more space for walkers get some air and take in the panorama below? Just a thought. Perhaps this is a perfect example for some drastic wildlife management. Some was already happening, but is there a case for returning some of the land to meadow?

The last shot is the best one I could get, squeezing against the fence.

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